Dutch DJ Hardwell, on his fifth trip to the country to regale fans of Electronic Dance Music (EDM), says he finds Indian music emotional and would love to inculcate it in his work “if an opportunity arises”.
Hardwell, who is a big room house and electro house DJ, record producer and remixer and has maintained his position among the top 100 DJs in the world, was in the capital on October 1 to perform as part of the special show for Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival Sunburn.
The music artiste, whose real name is Robbert van de Corput, said “warmth, love and hospitability” are some of the traits he has observed among Indians.
“India is such a great host to not just me, but so many other DJs. India teaches you how to treat their guests with such love and respect,” Hardwell told IANS in an email interview.
In recent times, there has been a spurt in international artistes collaborating with Indian musicians — whether it’s by way of using Indian musical instruments in their music or working together to create music — like British boy band The Vamps did with Vishal-Shekhar.
Hardwell, 28, says he is open to such possibilities.
“I feel Indian music is very layered and emotional. I haven’t heard too much of it but I’d love to inculcate (it) if an opportunity arises,” Hardwell said.
Asked how the EDM scene has evolved over the years, Hardwell says “dance music as a whole has never been healthier or more exciting than right now”.
“I think the rise of electronic music as a main stage concept has been a long time coming. Our scene has never been so mainstream in terms of the chart success and media coverage, so it’s been a natural crossover for DJs to truly become the new rockstars,” said the composer of the “Step Up All In” soundtrack.
“I do think the rise of our scene on a global scale and the abundance of new talent we have in dance music today is fantastic, and something I am so proud and honoured to be a part of,” he added.
Talking about the EDM scene in India, Hardwell, who has worked with artistes like Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Laidback Luke, Dyro, Afrojack, R3hab and Tiësto, says that the scene here is growing at an “impressive pace”.
“I think India is one of the emerging powerhouses of dance music right now. DJ Zaeden and DJ Sartek, who have a release on my label, have got a lot of potential and if they believe in themselves and work hard enough, then yes they can be the next big thing.
“Everyone has the chance to make it in the scene. You just need to find your path, stay on target and work your hardest to achieve your goals. India has a lot of young talent, so I expect we will see many more artists breaking through from your scene now, which will be great,” he added.
The Indian crowd, no matter how westernised in their looks or attitude, have a special place for their native music.
Last year at Sunburn’s main festival, Dutch DJ Dyro made that special connect when he played a version of Bollywood song “Kundi mat khadkao raja” for thousands at the venue in Goa.
Asked if he had planned on playing different music or compositions for the Indian crowd too, Hardwell said he “goes with the flow always”.
“The most important thing about being a DJ is reading the crowd. The DJ is just a part of the party, the people on the dancefloor make the party what it is. The feeling of standing on the stage and educating the audience with new sounds, showing them music that you like yourself, that was and is a dream for me.
“Sometimes the crowd likes house music, sometimes the crowd’s more commercial. I play some of my older stuff, my new stuff, my upcoming stuff and everything in between,” he added.
(Kishori Sud can be contacted at [email protected])
By Kishori Sud